training theory


Tonka and I have been busy. This week we’ve done a broad range of activities, from trail riding to jumping, and my horse has been enthused and game for all of them. Several of our rides were flat work in the arena. I focused on cadence and an engaged topline. […]

Stop to Smell (Eat) the Flowers


After an almost 2 month break, Tonka and I have resumed our jumping lessons. Tonka says that it’s about time. We eased into it. I brought him back to work with walking and gymnastics and trail riding. We had a lesson over poles to get his hocks and stifles loosened […]

Having Fun Over Jumps


I started working on this blogpost before everything shut down. I haven’t seen my horse for nearly three weeks. It’s been almost impossible to sit at my keyboard and write about horse training while I’ve been homebound. However, I do much of my writing in my head before I type a […]

Training The Big Picture



I’ve been exercising using videos. Some cardio. Some easy yoga. I’ve tried at least a dozen YouTube channels and have checked out many others. The instructors are super upbeat, but there’s something they all do that is insidiously counterproductive to their optimistic you can do it tone. If only these […]

Turning Don’t Into Do


The nature of science is that we build on what we know. Sometimes we have to discard ideas when more solid information comes along. Sometimes what has been researched is very, very complex, but the popular press gets hold of it, someone writes a best-selling book inflating it into a […]

Your Horse’s Brain (A Myth Debunked)


There are many reasons to train animals. It allows pet owners to get along with their furry friends by teaching them basic manners and how to get along nicely with others. Training can also be done for cooperative care, so that you can do husbandry and medical procedures without causing […]

Karen Pryor and Creative Animals



For most of my many years with horses I didn’t think much about cross-ties. All of the barns that I’ve been in have them. Cross-ties keep the horse centered in the aisle. With lines clipped to both sides of the halter, a horse will stand where needed while the farrier […]

Teaching Ground-Tying


Your horse has a reason for everything that they do. I have a good story about this. After six years of riding Tonka on the flat, I’ve decided that jumping little cross-rails might be fun. Tonka agreed. During the first lesson he was a bit of an over-achiever!   Although […]

There’s a Reason Why


I’m at an art festival with my husband. We’re holding hands. I see something that I want to look at. I walk towards it, he feels where I’m going through our hands. He follows. He gets distracted by something and he stops, he pulls lightly on my hand so I […]

The Halter As Welcome Information